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Emma Grieshaber - Fashion and Textiles

Emma Grieshaber
Multi-award-winning Fashion and Textiles graduate Emma Grieshaber secured a British Fashion Council scholarship and developed a strong set of digital transferable skills to create her final degree show collection amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emma, 22 from Perth, has created a ten-piece collection exploring shape and volume with inspiration from the obscured silhouettes of vintage parachutes and Elizabethan costume. The collection, Pull to Inflate, covers to three themes: inflatable, Tudor and parachutes.

“In the photography studio, I draped large voluminous materials on a figure to create oversized, obscure silhouettes,” said Emma.

“Taking inspiration from the resulting photographs, I work backwards to draw the potential garment derived from each created image. The subsequent challenge was translating the conceptual to the practical by investigating materials and valves that could be inflated and hold voluminous shapes without deflating.”

Emma was able to further enhance her designs through period costume research at V&A London.

Throughout her time at university, Emma has grabbed opportunities to expand her horizons and experience, including numerous competitions and internships as well as being involved in the first digital London Fashion Week.

Emma adds: “In my second year, I managed to win the Career Enhancement Award, and I completed two internships in my third year at Christopher Raeburn and Patrick McDowell. I was fortunate to win a scholarship with the British Fashion Council (BFC), which funded my fourth-year collection and invited me to many fashion events in London.

“I've genuinely had the most enjoyable time and experiences at Gray’s. It will forever have a special place in my heart. The tutors throughout my time have been helpful and supportive, and I’ve definitely gained friends for life.”

As the global COVID-19 pandemic continued, it became clear that Gray’s Degree Show would switch to a virtual online showcase to ensure students could conclude their studies with a celebration of their exciting and inspiring final year projects. Emma embraced the switch and turned it into an opportunity to enhance her knowledge of Adobe’s Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Microsoft’s Excel to help create her final collection in the new format

“I’m exhilarated that Gray’s has enabled us to have a conclusive ending of our degree, and a chance to showcase our work,” said Emma. “Designing the online feature has been challenging, but I'm proud of the outcome. The progress to an online submission was surprisingly enjoyable, and I’ve developed and enhanced my experience with a variety of software.

“Despite not fulfilling my dream of a physical graduate fashion show, I have obtained transferable skills which will benefit me in my future career in the fashion industry.”

Emma has already secured work freelancing for a start-up called Herside.

“It is such an exciting opportunity and perfect to start working freelance during COVID-19.”

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